Monday, October 03, 2005

Ugandan troops amass at border of DR Congo

From Michael at Uganda-CAN October 3, 2005:

Thousands of Ugandan troops have begun gathering at the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the West Nile region of Uganda, purportedly in preparation to engage Lord's Resistance Army forces across the border, reports AllAfrica. A contingent of approximately 400 LRA forces crossed into Congo over a week ago, and requests from UN and Congolese officials for the LRA to disarm have been ignored.

Although Uganda's Minister of Defense last week claimed that Uganda would under no circumstances enter the DRC, President Museveni has this week stated that if UN and Congolese troops do not take immediate and aggressive action, Uganda's military would be sent across the border. Uganda played a central role in destabilizing eastern Congo during the civil war that ended in 2004, and many fear that if Ugandan forces cross the border again, more chaos could ensue. Several small armed insurgencies still plague the region today.

Uganda-CAN urges the Government of Uganda and UN to delay attacks on the group until robust efforts have been made to open negotiations with the rebels.



BRE said...

President Museveni and the UPDF or whatever they're called are full of crap. The only reason those troops would be amassed at the border of the DRC is to prepare for another land and natural resource grab(gold, diamonds, oil) in the eastern Congo. People in the know saw this coming and have been warning the UN, MONUC and various other key international agencies and bodies for months.

That whole political situation in the eastern DRC is about to implode and the vultures are beginning to circle (Uganda, Rwanda, & Co.). If and when any serious combat starts there, the UN peacekeepers (MONUC) will most likely "cut and run" like they did in Rwanda more than a decade ago. Who's gonna send troops to cover their inexperienced rear ends? France and Belgium, NATO, the AU?

Joseph Kony, the mad-dog leader of the murderous LRA, is not even in the DRC at the moment. He's still snug and comfy up in the remote hills and valleys of southern Sudan.

Ingrid J. Jones said...

Hello Bill, What can we do? There seems to be strong connections between Sudan, Uganda and DR Congo - rebel group wise. What is the solution, does anybody know? Will it always be this way? Is it the way of life in Africa?

I still can't shake the belief that the women of the world especially African women, are capable of pulling together and doing something truly significant. There are some incredibly talented women in Africa at the moment, I have posted on them and hope one day to pull all of those posts together and make a feature out of it.

Today there was a report saying this:

Activist appeals Sudanese women to form political party
Tuesday 4 October 2005 02:30.

Oct 3, 2005 (Nairobi) — A female Sudanese political activist is calling for Sudanese women to form their own political party because they are the most marginalized in society.

In an interview with Sudan Radio Service (SRS) in Nairobi Thursday, a member of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Thuraya al-Tuhami demanded a fair share of decision making positions, particularly in northern Sudan.

Thuraya said “southern Sudanese women have been recognised by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), they are given 25 percent representation in decision making positions, which is really a great achievement for them. Because they have been fighting beside their men in the fields. But where is the northern woman? This is what we have been demanding in the NDA, we are demanding for more than 35 percent because I think women are more than 50 percent of the Sudanese society.”

Thuraya said that she believes Islamic Sharia laws discriminate against women. (SRS/ST

BRE said...

There is a very strong connection between the various militias operating in the DRC and regime of al-Bashir and these connections have been well documented. Khartoum serves as an important conduit to the Middle East and Asia for the illegal diamond trade and illicit arms sales to the "rebels" down in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

What can WE do, practically nothing. Until those militias and international gangsters running around the jungles and capital cities of the DRC, Uganda, and Rwanda are totally routed militarily and rounded up to face justice before legitimate national and international criminal courts the situation will remain as is___ a volatile political mess and a huge humanitarian and ecological disaster for the whole world.

What needs to be done in the DRC has been clear to all parties involved with the affairs of the country for years. Who is going to do it is still a big mystery (certainly not the UNSC or MONUC) and a damn expensive one at that both in financial terms and in human lives.

In re: to women in Sudan demanding an equal share in the running of the political and economic affairs of the country, that's a no-brainer. Of course this should be done and as soon as possible, the sooner the better. The last statement by Ms. Thuraya about her believing Islamic Sharia Law discriminates against women is the Understatement of the Year.

Ingrid J. Jones said...

Hello Bill, Thank you for your interesting comment which I shall digest and think about. The connections became obvious to me when I started blogging Darfur 16 months ago and saw so many reports on northern Uganda and DR Congo with connections going back to the Rwandan genocide, which is why I started up Uganda Watch and Congo Watch to file the reports and see at a glance if there was a pattern.

Meanwhile, a few minutes ago, I came across this blog at Yahoo by a professional journalist (read his fascinating "about" section) - and wanted to post links to Part I & II of his reports on DR Congo here at Congo Watch but the pages are too slow loading on my screen right now and blogger is acting the same way, so I shall have to wait. Meanwhile, thought I'd share something here: it is a copy of a comment someone left at Part I or II (sorry not gone back to check) that I thought you might find of interest. Thanks for the link to Carine which I shall check out later on. I'm hoping it will lead to the post she did on mining (remember?) - maybe you could do one Bill and I can post it here with a link back to you. And maybe Carine could to an update on her last post re mining. I'm planning to stay on the trail of the 'cursed' gold and diamonds ... and black gold [especially in Sudan] ... with special focus on the children - slave labour, child soldiers - and any issues concerning slavery in the Sudan, Uganda, DRC, Ethiopia and NIger. Here is the comment:

Conflict and Natural Resources Kevin (and others): I know you are in Ituri, but I am wondering if your week in Congo will allow you to get to Kilwa in Katanga Province where perhaps the Australian Anvil Mining Company was linked to a militia which committed massacre a year ago. If not can you explore the link between resources and mass atrocities in Ituri.

A recent article I read outlines six ways concentrated natural resources can increase the risk of violent conflict.

political economy:

1. Massive profits from resources - the "honey pot" for corrupt governments aided by foreign coroporations

2. Detached governmental elite without need of popular support from taxes

3. Concentration of resources in a remote region - "ready prey for secessionist political movements"

4. Source of finance for rebel groups and regional warlords economic effects:

5. Decline of of non-resource-based (usually agricultural) economy and declining income for farmers and rural population

6. Highly volatile prices for resource commodities (booms and busts) including periods of severe contraction causing enormous instability ---------

These notes are from Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa By Paul Collier of Oxford University, October 2004

Posted by preventgenocide on Mon, Oct 03, 2005